6 of the Best Teas for a Sore Throat

a sore throat remedy drink
Half Baked Harvest

Let’s face it: Getting sick is the worst. And that stinging feeling in your throat that makes it painful to talk, sleep, or swallow might be the worst symptom of all. Fortunately, there are a number of soothing teas you can sip on to relieve a sore throat. Tea is such a great natural remedy because the ingredients and the specific blend of herbs work to soothe pain and kill bacteria.

Key ingredients in soothing teas include slippery elm, licorice, marshmallow root, peppermint, and turmeric. Slippery elm comes from tree bark and when mixed with water produces a tacky substance called mucilage—a calming salve that was used by soldiers during the American Revolution to treat wounds. Marshmallow root—not to be confused with its sweet form—contains a sticky healing substance similar to that of slippery elm. Meanwhile, peppermint contains menthol, which works to thin mucus and soothe irritation. Licorice root has also been proven effective in soothing sore throats when mixed with water and gargled. Lastly, turmeric is a key anti-inflammatory ingredient.

Here are some of the top-rated teas that contain these ingredients and their healing properties.

Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat
Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat $$5

Soothe your throat with tea made from slippery elm, licorice, and marshmallow root.

Now Real Tea TLC Throat and Lung Care
Now Real Tea TLC Throat and Lung Care $7

This tea contains slippery elm, which has chemicals that ease throat pain and kill germs. One user raves, “What a wonderful product. Never fails to make me feel good when I have a cough or a tightening in my chest. A real need in your medicine chest.”

Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Throat Tamer
Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Throat Tamer $5

We’ve always been fans of Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepytime teas, but who knew they also had a throat-coat option? One user says, “This is the best tea I have found for soothing a sore throat and flu-like symptoms. The licorice ingredient literally coats the throat and the feeling of instant relief lasts much longer past the last sip. I don’t like licorice, but I love how this tea tastes.”

Numi Organic Tea Turmeric Tea Amber Sun
Numi Organic Tea Turmeric Tea Amber Sun $6 $6

Turmeric is an amazing anti-inflammatory ingredient and can be particularly helpful in healing a sore throat, according to family physician Mia Finkelston, MD. In addition to the spice, this tea contains yummy ingredients like vanilla bean and cinnamon.

Traditional Medicinals Gypsy Cold Care
Traditional Medicinals Gypsy Cold Care $28

“My wife got her degree in vocal performance, so taking care of her voice was crucial,” explains another LPT Reddit user. “[This is the] best tea.” It’s a classic European blend made primarily of elder, yarrow, and calming peppermint. 

Health King Golden Voice Herb Tea
Health King Golden Voice Herb Tea $6

One reviewer says, “The herbs in this tea help to keep the throat moist and get rid of phlegm and sore throat. I like to take it with honey and propolis.” These benefits are likely due to its ancient formula, which includes Sterculia, asparagus root, peppermint, and licorice.

Article Sources
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  1. Kuriyama A, Maeda H. Topical Application of Licorice for Prevention of Postoperative Sore Throat in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Clin Anesth. 2019;54:25-32.

  2. Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS. Curcumin: A Review of Its' Effects on Human Health. Foods. 2017;6(10).doi:10.3390/foods6100092

  3. Yang Y, Park BI, Hwang EH, You YO. Composition Analysis and Inhibitory Effect of Sterculia Lychnophora Against Biofilm Formation by Streptococcus Mutans. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:8163150.doi:10.1155/2016/8163150

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